It seems Egypt's government is finally taking advantage of our country's abundance of sunlight with several major solar energy projects set to be developed...
It has never really made any sense why Egypt, a desert country short on energy but with plenty of sun, hasn't turned to solar panels sooner to address its energy needs. We have tons of entrepreneurs and are the descendants of great investors. However, with a solution to our problem staring us in the face every day, we seem like a lazy, and at times stupid, country for failing to ever implement it.
Thankfully, this oversight is being addressed as the Egyptian government has announced plans to invest up to $1 billion to develop several major solar energy projects. The announcement was made at an event organised by the city's Chamber of Commerce in Alexandria on Saturday by Adel Labib, Local and Administrative Development Minister. During the announcement Labib eluded to the fact that Egypt had natural mineral resources that are yet to be exploited, but very few details of the plan were released. Even Egypt’s State Information Service reported the news on its website but provided no further details about the project.
This announcement comes a week after Mostafa Madbouly, Minister of Housing, Utilities and Urban Development revealed an agreement with the New Urban Communities Authority and Information and Decision Support Center, who will be providing technical and financial assistance in installing PV arrays (solar panels) on some government buildings in order to reduce Egypt's strained electrical grid.
This welcome news is in addition to Egypt's Arab Renewable Energy Company (ARECO) signing a contract with Disctech FZCO, an affiliate of Z-One Holding of the United Arab Emirates, to establish a solar PV production line in the country. Egypt also recently received a grant from Italy of more than $500,000 to develop solar power in the Wadi Al-Hitan region of El Fayoum Governorate's Wadi Al-Rayan wildlife reserve.
Living in Egypt we have become accustomed to hearing promises and ideas that are never actualised, but with this string of investments it seems that solar energy is trending. Egypt desperately needs a solution to its energy problems and although it won't immediately solve all our needs, we couldn't think of a better way for a 'new' Egypt to emerge than clean energy, that won't only provide energy, but decrease the alarmingly terrible air quality as well.